White House Powder Mystery: Suspicious Substance Identified as Cocaine

Image Source: Fox News

A white powder found inside the White House late on Sunday that forced a temporary evacuation of the complex and prompted Washington’s fire department and emergency services to respond has been identified by a preliminary field test as cocaine, a source familiar with the matter said on Tuesday. Secret Service agents discovered the suspicious substance during a routine patrol in a part of the West Wing that is accessible to tour groups, and it quickly raised concerns about possible drug use on the White House grounds.

The source was not authorized to speak publicly about the investigation and spoke to CNN on condition of anonymity. The West Wing is attached to the executive mansion where President Joe Biden lives, and it houses the Oval Office, the cabinet room and press area, and offices and workspace for the president’s staff. It is a busy and highly secure area, and hundreds of people regularly work in or pass through it.

According to The Post, the Secret Service has not determined who left the bag of powder on the floor, but they have begun to question people who were in the vicinity at the time of its discovery. The agency is also trying to determine how the white powder got into the White House in the first place.

The discovery was made around 8:45 pm on Sunday, while the president and his family were spending the weekend at Camp David. The entire complex was evacuated as fire and emergency services crews were called to evaluate the suspicious item. In a radio dispatch that evening, firefighters were instructed to bag the powder and take it outside for further evaluation.

That further evaluation was conducted by the District of Columbia fire department, which quickly determined that the substance was not hazardous and that there was no need to evacuate the rest of the complex. The White House later reopened, and the powder was sent out for further testing.

A spokesman for the Secret Service, tasked with presidential security, told Al Jazeera that the “unknown item” found in a working area within the West Wing had been sent out for further evaluation, and the agency was investigating how it entered the building. The spokesman also noted that President Biden was not in the White House at the time of the incident and returned from his weekend at Camp David on Tuesday.

The White House’s West Wing is a spacious and ornate space designed by architect and designer Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1904. The expansive rooms are clad in deep blues, yellows, and grays and decorated with intricate dentil molding. It is one of the most popular and frequented parts of the building, with several meeting spaces for visitors and a library for book signings and other events. It is the administrative heart of the presidency, containing the Oval Office, the cabinets, the press area, the Roosevelt Room, and other public areas.

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